ICAS launches call for research on charity impact reporting
ICAS has launched a call for research on impact reporting by charities within their trustees’ annual report.
The call for research on impact reporting by charities is seeking to understand charities’ experience of developing impact reporting measures and to evaluate what difference impact reporting makes to a charity’s stakeholders.
The research is to be conducted in two phases with funding of up to £20,000 available to the successful team.
Proposals are invited from academic and other researchers by 5pm on Friday 16 April 2021.
The Charities SORP development process
A revised edition of the Charities SORP (FRS 102) is expected to be in place for reporting periods commencing on or after 1 April 2024. The trustees’ annual report requirements will fall within the scope of the review. Therefore, the findings from this research have the potential to influence this next edition.
The timetable for revising the current edition of the Charities SORP mirrors the timetable for the implementation of changes arising from the next periodic review of FRS 102. A new process for reviewing the Charities SORP, the Charities SORP development process, has been implemented by the Charities SORP-making body following recommendations from an independent review.
Currently, all charities applying the Charities SORP must include commentary on their achievements and performance for the reporting period. Larger charities (charities with a gross income of more than £500,000) are encouraged to develop impact reporting measures but there is no requirement to do so.
Breaking down barriers to success
By including both the experience of charities in developing impacting reporting measures and the reporting of these measures (publicly) within the scope of this research project, ICAS is seeking evidence and recommendations which would breakdown some of the barriers to the successful implementation of impact reporting.
We are conscious of the need to ensure that any impact reporting requirements placed on charities are proportionate so the research will also seek to gain an understanding of the benefits of impact reporting from the perspective of different stakeholders, both external, for example a charity’s funders, and internal, for example its trustees.
Developments in non-financial reporting
Improving the quality of ‘non-financial reporting’ is a broader theme of interest to stakeholders across different sectors, highlighting a shift towards a more holistic view of corporate reporting by entities and greater recognition that how an entity operates is relevant to a broad group of stakeholders, beyond those with a direct stake in its financial performance.
For example, in 2020, the UK’s Financial Reporting Council (FRC) launched a discussion paper A matter of principles: The future of corporate reporting. The FRC is seeking views from a broad range of stakeholders, not just investors, covering both financial and non-financial information included by companies in their annual reports and financial statements. The deadline for comments on the discussion paper is 5 February.
Call for research
Read the call and find out more about how to submit a proposal.